When the coronavirus first started spreading around the world, no one could have envisioned the devastation it would cause.
Travel is now nearly impossible, businesses have crumbled, and our freedom has been curtailed.
But worst of all, bubble tea shops in Singapore have all closed as part of the circuit breaker measures.
It’s well-documented fact Singaporeans drink an average of sixteen bubble teas a day. The addictive beverage was a part of our everyday life.
Now, since there are no bubble tea rehab facilities available, Singaporeans have had to go cold turkey and somehow overcome their boba addiction.
Some desperate residents have resorted to sticking blueberries in their homemade milk tea, but drinking that is often worse than dehydration.
And so we patiently wait for the circuit breaker to end, because that’s when bubble tea shops will finally open, right?
Phase One: A Relaxed Circuit Breaker
As you know, the government recently announced that the country will reopen gradually in three phases after the circuit breaker is lifted on 2 June.
Phase 1 entails a gradual re-opening of some workplaces and activities that do not pose a high risk of infection. This includes basic pet grooming services, hairdressing services, vehicle servicing, to name a few.
Most retail outlets and other personal services will not reopen in Phase 1, and dining-in at food and beverage outlets will remain banned.
Burning Question Answered: Bubble Tea Shops Still Not Allowed to Open During Phase One
Food caterers and canteens will be allowed to remain open, as will F&B outlets except for those that sell predominantly beverages.
And since bubble tea shops don’t usually sell burgers or Mee Goreng on the side, they won’t be permitted to reopen during Phase 1.
We don’t know when Phase 1 will end, so we can’t say for sure when our mouths will be able to savour our beloved bubble tea once again.
Health Minister Gan Kin Yong said that Phase 1 could possibly take “four to six weeks, depending on how the situation evolves, maybe longer”.
When I was younger, my girlfriend told me we needed a break, and when I asked how long, she said: “a few weeks, maybe longer”.
It’s now been ten years and I’m still waiting for that break to end. One can only hope that we won’t be torn from our first love, boba, for too long.
You Won’t Be Able To Visit Your Friends Either
Since I’ve already delivered some bad news, I might as well rip off the entire bandage now.
If you’re planning a house party with 20 of your closest friends to celebrate the end of the circuit breaker, prepare a cheque of $300 before you go ahead with it because only family members will be allowed to visit each other during Phase 1.
Residents will be allowed to visit their parents and grandparents, but each receiving household should limit these visits to one a day, with not more than two persons from the same visiting household.
Siblings, unfortunately, will not be allowed to visit each other.
Hopefully, the number of infections will dwindle and Phase 2 will come sooner rather than later, because the end of the circuit breaker is starting to sound like the beginning of another, slightly better one.
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